Cover by Amber Solberg
Four pages on the DSU's advocacy debate pG. 8-11
146-20 â€˘ Mar 7 - Mar. 13, 2014
Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014 •
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1) Three weeks in a mental health ward—Ian Froese, News 2) Changing faces—Uytae Lee, Opinions 3) Student feels her voice was lost over sound complaint—Jesse Ward, News 4) Chief returning officer resigns before DSU election—Ian Froese, News 5) DSU votes to leave CASA, StudentsNS—Kristie Smith, News
news covers Dalhousie and the greater Halifax community. Contributions are welcome! Email Kristie and Jesse at firstname.lastname@example.org Kristie Smith News Editor
Grading this year’s DSU executives Kristie Smith News Editor As you read this, the halls are littered with posters of tomorrow's student leaders and the hopefuls who are running against them. But before anyone pops a champagne bottle, let’s give a nod to the executives past. Our panel got together to talk about the past year and give a grade to each of this year's executives.
Elizabeth Croteau: Sexton Campus Director Chair of the Board of Operations Chair of the Executive Review Committee Kit Moran: DSU Athletics Commissioner (directly under VP student life Danny Shanahan) Former VP student life candidate Kristie Smith Gazette News editor (Mostly moderated)
Sagar Jha President
Ramz Aziz VP internal While the VP internal has one of the smallest budgets, Aziz has been able to do a lot with his position and that’s what put him in the A-range. He had many small victories, all of which amount to a substantial workload; Aziz helped bring the summer UPass, DSU app, redeigned the website and more. He completed the tasks in his port-
The panel thought Jha grew the most out of all the candidates. When he came into office, he was bright-eyed with enthusiasm, but only brought so many political skills to the table. Since September, he's learned the policy that goes with his job; and while he hasn't come through on every
campaign promise, he has become a better president. One criticism was that he’s seemed to retreat from the general student body in his final months in office. This hasn’t done much for his popularity, but he did his job well and got a lot more done than he did in the beginning of his term.
folio well, going above and beyond whenever possible. He wasn't perfect, but what he lacked in knowledge he made up for with enthusiasm. He wasn't as policywise as he could have been, so he might need to study a bit more before running for top office. Overall, he was a positive addition to the DSU.
Danny Shanahan VP student life
Shanahan started off well. He did a good job with DalFest and Shinerama, arguably two of the biggest things VP student life deals with in their term. Come March, a lot of that sheen was gone. Opponents of Shanahan's argued that he ignored a chunk of his portfolio—varsity athletics. He was expected to keep it alive, maybe even improve the culture, but nothing special happened during his tenure and athletes called foul. Sexton campus came to him during his campaign last spring and asked for study space, which they were promised. Instead of getting their second space, the old Sexton Campus Coordinator Office was repurposed to an office for the entertainment programmers. If Shanahan wants to succeed in re-election, he’ll need to better serve all of his constituents.
On the cover:
Illustrator Amber Solberg took inspiration from the Mortal Kombat video game franchise for the 2014 DSU election issue.
Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014 •
Aaron Beale VP academic and external Beale took on the ultimately too-tough job of trying to restructure the executive. He argued his job, VP academic and external, was too much for one person and couldn't possibly be done right. He proved it: he did the external part of his portfolio well, with several campaigns throughout the year and a good hoorah during the provincial elections this past fall, but completely missed the mark with the academic half. Despite two years in the position, he struggled the most with policy and budgetary restrictions. At the most recent council meeting, when the union voted to leave its external advocacy groups, Beale was accused of helping produce an opinion paper that lied to the council, as well as misrepresenting the DSU to the groups it reviewed negatively. Love him or hate him, though, he came in with goals and got some results.
Josh Cooke VP finance and operations The only executive to be nominated instead of elected, Cooke hit all the right points procedurally but missed the mark on public relations and pushing the envelope. The building is still in one piece and the budget should balance, but no judge had the sense that Cooke tried anything new or did that little bit extra. He balenced the budget and did his job, but not much else. Fiscally responsible and honest in tough political situations, he could always be trusted to speak forcefully on behalf of the union instead of the executive, which we think was pretty cool.
2013-14 DSU executive portraits. • • • Illustrations by Amber Solberg
• Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014
Your DSU levy shopping list
What to know before you vote Sabina Wex Staff Contributor When students vote for the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) executive this year, they will also be asked 10 referendum questions. The Gazette has looked into what the questions are and why each organization is asking them.
Increase levy by $1 The levy increase means fulltime students would pay $10 per annum instead of the current $9, and part-time students would pay $3 instead of $2. CKDU hasn’t increased their levy since 1985, but provides equipment for 300 volunteers and wants to keep up with general operational costs. CKDU unsuccessfully ran a levy question last year.
Dalhousie Bike Centre
Per semester: 50 cents per fulltime student The levy would help expand the centre’s bicycle loan program, which currently only has 12 bikes. The money would also go toward replacing tools.
Dalhousie Campus Medical Response Team
$2 per full-time student The medical response team doesn’t exist yet, but if they receive the levy, it will provide them with enough funds to train students in advanced first aid. The team would go to campus events and immediately respond to medical situations.
Per semester: 60 cents per student The Gazette levy hasn’t increased in 10 years. The levy increase would up the current student fee from $5 to $6.20.
The paper wants to return to printing at least 25 issues (which has been recently cut to 23), improve its faulty website and produce weekly video content. The Gazette ran a similar question last year but failed.
Dalhousie International Students’ Association (DISA)
Increase levy by $10 for international students DISA wants to increase the levy for international students from $5 to $15. The funds would go toward further accommodations for international students, such as cheaper airport pickup rates, housing accommodations and providing more cultural grants. Non-international students would not pay this fee.
Dalhousie Urban Garden Society (DUGS)
Per semester: 50 cents per fulltime student DUGS wants further funding in order to maintain their community garden, as well as provide workshops on community gardening.
Renovations (Student Union Building)
Increase levy by $25 per fulltime member, $20 per parttime member The DSU has entered a contract with Lydon Lynch Architects for a pre-design phase of the Student Union Building (SUB) renovations. To renovate and expand the SUB, it will cost $13 million; that, however, doesn’t include the cost of an atrium. This levy would cover that additional cost of an estimated $8 million. This levy increase would only be in effect until the final renovation project costs have been reconciled.
Equity and Accessibility
Per semester: $1 per full-time student, 50 cents per part-time student The money would go toward coordinating diversity and antioppression workshops for DSU executives, councillors and staff, and working with the DSU policy researcher to address equity and accessibility issues, among other topics.
A decade of DSU elections:
voter turnout by year
South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre
Increase levy by $2.85 per fulltime student, $2 per part-time student South House’s increases would take their levy from $3.15 to $6 for full-time students, and from $1 to $3 for part-time students. As students’ needs for resources have risen, South House would use the money to increase their two part-time staff ’s hours. This will let the society expand their volunteer program, provide more free resources (condoms, pregnancy tests), expand their library and offer more than their current 20 bursaries.
Students Nova Scotia (SNS)
$3 per full-time student, $2 per part-time student (unchanged) The DSU created a Students NS levy years ago because a referendum passed to use current operating revenues for what was then membership in the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations, which was effectively terminated on Feb. 26. If this referendum passes, the money, along with the $44,000 left over from federal advocacy group CASA (totalling $137,000), will go toward currently undetermined DSU efforts. If the levy doesn’t pass, it will be assumed that students want to rejoin SNS and the DSU will vote on rejoining the provincial organization. If the DSU votes to rejoin SNS, students will still be charged for the SNS levy, which will go toward its membership; if not, the money will not be collected.
It’s been over six years since at least 20 per cent of students eligible voted in the Dalhousie Student Union election. A low turnout has resulted in some incredibly close calls in
the DSU president’s election. In 2008, Courtney Larkin won with 49 per cent of the vote, beating her opposition in a third round of voting by just 26 votes.
DAL VOTES 2014 Visit the Dal Gazette website for continuing elections coverage
• Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014
Libraries look for financial feedback
Dal turns to stakeholders to decide on acquisition budget spending
Department heads are debating libary priorities. • • • Photo by Chris Parent
Sabina Wex Staff Contributor Dalhousie’s libraries held a public consultation on Feb. 25, presenting three possible models allocating 50 per cent of their budget to acquisitions. The libraries will begin implementing one of these models by this upcoming fiscal year, phasing it in over the next four years.
The first model is based on spent-year-to-date, the second is based on library journal serial costs, and the third is a combination of the first two models. Dalhousie university librarian Donna Bourne-Tyson explained that money is divvied up by library and by faculty. Once that’s been done, the library and faculty hold the responsibility of splitting up the money. Although the faculty of medi-
cine only bought 6.75 per cent of books in 2010-11, they would be allotted the largest portion of the budget, between 14 and 18 per cent, in all three models. Throughout the three models, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) would receive between seven and 7.2 per cent of the acquisition budget. In 201011, the library reports that FASS bought 50.6 per cent of both print and ebooks.
Kellogg Health Science Library head Patrick Ellis explained that medicine would receive more money because their books are more expensive. They also have 85 per cent of the adjunct professors. Julia Wright, associate dean of research for FASS, calculated that his faculty was allotted $600,000 for library acquisitions in 200809. With one of the new models, it would only receive about $210,000. “That is a huge hit to FASS,” said Wright. Leonard Diepeveen, an English professor, said the library is all his department has. “In the science faculty,” said Diepeveen, “you have labs and other things that contribute to research. And I don’t see that addressed here.” Bourne-Tyson said the libraries are seeking a statistician who would be able to properly weight the statistical outlier of medicine in comparison to the other faculties. English professor David
Evans thinks Dalhousie may not be able to afford scientific journals. “Scientific publishers want to make money,” said Evans. “Until we address that, the system is going to be corrupt, and it’s going to continue to decline.” Bourne-Tyson said the libraries have discussed the possibility of dropping scientific journals, but no action has been taken. Scholarly journals, the costs of which have risen over the years, receive half of the library’s budget allocation. “It’s your library system,” said Bourne-Tyson, “and if you all decide that you don’t want scholarly journals anymore, we can start cancelling them.” The crowd, which consisted largely of FASS representatives, let out a groan. “Either we need to be a research and graduate student university,” said classics department chair Wayne Hankey, “or we need to shut up about that, and say, ‘Look, we’re just out there to find as many illiterate undergraduates as possible, the way the rest of everybody is, and to graduate them as literate as they are.’”
this issue's special feature covers the DSU's advocacy debate Email Ian at email@example.com Ian Froese Editor-in-Chief
DSU’s advocacy debate Students Nova Scotia Provincial advocacy group • Founded in 2003 • Originally called Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations (ANSSA) • Created by four universities, one of which was Dal • Cost the DSU $92,377 in 2013-14 • Dal students account for 41% of their overall membership • The DSU voted to cancel membership by a vote of 16 to 15, with five abstentions.
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations Federal advocacy group • Founded in 1994
DSU councillor Elizabeth Croteau asking a question as Students Nova Scotia pled their case last Wednesday. • • • Photo by Kristie Smith
DSU chooses to advocate alone
An estimated $140k freed up to consider internal advocacy Kristie Smith News Editor The Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) has voted to end its memberships with federal and provincial lobbying groups, the Canadian Association of Student Alliances (CASA) and Students Nova Scotia (SNS), following this semester. The controversial move will free up approximately $140,000, which could be repurposed for
internal advocacy—although nothing is set in stone. Federal voice CASA, which cost the union $20,662 at its associate member rate, lost by a vote of 17 councillors in favour of leaving to 15 against. There were four abstentions. Once the votes were recorded, VP internal Ramz Aziz and VP student life Danny Shanahan requested to change their votes. Aziz claims he was confused about which question he was vot-
ing on and was allowed to change his vote from against to in favour of the motion. Shanahan, who also says he did not understand the motion, rescinded his request to change his vote from voting against to abstaining. Provincial lobbying organization Students NS, which cost the union $92,377, lost its largest member when 16 councillors voted to exit the organization. Fifteen were against, and five abstained from voting.
Several student board members with SNS spoke before council prior to the vote. They explained the potential for Dal within SNS and how, in their opinion, their work was misrepresented in the DSU-sponsored advocacy review report presented at council late last year. Despite SNS' 45-minute presentation, the union bowed out.
• Dal was one of the founding members of this group as well, as an alternative to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) • Had 24 student associations representing over 300,000 students across Canada—until Dal left • Cost the DSU $20,662 in 2013-14 as an associate member, with essentially half the rights of full membership • In 2012-13, the full membership cost was $44,441 • The DSU voted to cancel membership by a vote of 17 to 15, with four abstentions
• Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014
DSU’s decision to leave StudentsNS ill-informed
Disregards 2012 referendum vote
Decision to leave CASA and SNS creates opportunities Dear Editor, The results of Wednesday’s council vote have allowed the DSU to finally break free from the roughly $136,000 shackles of two external advocacy organizations: the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and Students Nova Scotia (SNS). As a senate representative on council, I continue to be in full support of this decision based on feedback from my constituents, as well as my own experience with advocacy at Dalhousie. Our membership with these organizations has prevented us from making real gains with the government, has prevented mass student outreach and has stopped us from taking stances that represent Dalhousie students. Students will now be able to create an independent advocacy department within the DSU, where the unique interests of our university and its population can be accurately expressed. This is a great opportunity to join together and form a common vision for the future of our advocacy. Tuition fees and student debt in our province have been steadily on the rise. If students want to ensure that we have affordable education, as is the case in several other provinces, we need strong advocacy that will fully engage all levels of power. CASA and SNS aren’t involved in grassroots organizing with students, instead focusing exclusively on lobbying government and bureaucrats. There’s no doubt that it’s important for students to go to the table, but without actively
campaigning on the ground to inform and engage as many students as possible—as well as faculty, staff and the greater public—students will always be stuck making small amendments to a government agenda.
“I look forward to exploring the huge potential that independent advocacy brings” As an example, SNS would direct much of their lobbying efforts at expanding the student loan allowance and needsbased grants. These have merit, but as long as funding decreases and tuition fees rise, students will always be playing catch-up. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. Student debt is rising and bankrupting a generation. Some might say that asking for reduced tuition fees won’t be listened to, and so demands should be moderate—but case studies in Newfoundland, Quebec and Manitoba show that campaigning and working with communities changes public opinion, as well as what’s within the realm of possibility.
In Quebec, they said stopping the 75 per cent tuition hike was impossible, and yet they did it. Affordable education isn’t just a reasonable thing for student unions to support—anything less is unacceptable. I supported exiting these organizations so that Dal students’ money can be more effectively used to advocate for causes that Nova Scotians support, and from which Dal students benefit. This move strengthens the Dal student voice and I’m glad it finally happened. Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of consulting with students regarding the issues brought forth at our meetings. From this councillor’s seat, the ongoing debates on campus, at societies and at council have provided us with the information we needed to make an informed decision based on the best interests of Dalhousie students—and this is exactly what we’ve done. We’re finally ready to move forward in reviewing advocacy more thoroughly, but this time with a fully funded advocacy department. I look forward to exploring the huge potential that independent advocacy brings with it, while engaging students in the process. Boundless opportunities have come knocking at our door, and I am eager to invite them in and celebrate their long-anticipated arrival. Sincerely, Rebecca Eldridge Rebecca is a Senate Representative on DSU council.
Amy Donovan Opinions Contributor In my first year at Dalhousie, I was Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) secretary. I was impressed, then, to learn about the Alliance of Nova Scotia Students’ Associations (ANSSA) and its work to advance student concerns. In the previous year, 2008, it had successfully lobbied for the creation of Nova Scotia Student Grants, as well as a tuition freeze. Five years, a brief stint in England and a move to a master’s program later, I continue to applaud the work of the organization, now Students Nova Scotia (SNS). I’m tremendously disappointed by the DSU’s decision to leave SNS. Rash and poorly researched as it was, this decision doesn’t represent my views. Had the appointed review committee properly consulted with other Dal students, I suspect they would have found it wouldn’t represent theirs either. SNS, an alliance of post-secondary student associations, advocates empowering students and making post-secondary education in Nova Scotia accessible, affordable and high quality through policy-oriented research, lobbying and public campaigns. Current projects include researching student health, housing and employment; promoting safer alcohol consumption; and campaigning for “enthusiastic consent” (see morethanyes.ca). In 2011, SNS successfully advocated to make the full provincial portion of student loans forgivable over the first four years of an undergraduate degree—one of many achievements outlined at studentsns.ca. Are these concerns relevant? Dalhousie students thought so in 2012, when we voted in a referendum to double our financial contributions to SNS. Despite this, last week the DSU council voted 16-15 to leave SNS entirely, based on a report it had commissioned called “Strengthening Advocacy.” The report is badly
written, carelessly researched and clearly biased. Patrick Visintini, a member of the review committee, explained to council how the report failed to represent student views from consultations, and had only three authors, two of whom initially proposed the review. Worse still, many of the report’s claims are false or misleading, as SNS’ response details. Some errors and sloppy writing might be excusable. But I can’t forgive the report’s refusal to acknowledge another side to the argument, or its disregard for any solidarity with other Nova Scotia students: it argues that Dal’s student union is big, powerful and wealthy enough to advocate for its students on its own. While numbers, unity, professionalism, continuity and neutrality to student politics give SNS a strength far exceeding that of even a better-funded DSU, this position is callous. SNS exists because students share concerns, and it will be severely weakened without Dalhousie. Even if we could effectively advocate alone, does sheer might permit us to eschew our responsibility—as human beings with common concerns—to the larger student community? Nowhere does the 69-page report mention that Dal students voted less than two years ago to drastically increase our support to SNS. Last week, the DSU council—supposedly our representatives—voted, on the basis of a flawed and biased report cobbled together to reinforce its authors’ pre-existing opinions, to completely leave the organization. The motion passed by a margin of one. Is this democracy? SNS’ response to the DSU’s report can be found on Scribd.com under “Students NS’ Response to Strengthening Advocacy.” Amy Donovan served as DSU secretary in 2009/10. She is currently a social anthropology MA candidate at Dalhousie.
10 special feature
Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014 •
Transparency lacking Dear Editor, As I imagine you might be publishing in the same issue as this letter, the recent debates regarding appropriate student advocacy for the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU)—and the DSU's now former association with the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and Students Nova Scotia (SNS) have come to a head. But I believe that some of the most telling things this process has brought to light are the certain troubling aspects of the processes of the DSU, and ones which especially need to become more transparent in the near future. Throughout this year, the DSU has been quite laudably streaming council meetings
online, and preserving them as records (a new innovation). At the same time it feels like very little else has been done to make the actions of the DSU council, and the decisions which they make on behalf of all students, transparent. Take any number of examples of this, from the fact that the minute-taking process is itself not standardized (compare the meeting minutes of Dec. 4, 2013 to Nov. 20, and to Oct. 23— they are not only inconsistent in how they present information, they are not even all in the same electronic format!) to the fact that a large number of the prior semester's minutes were not even posted until before the Feb. 12 annual general meeting, to even the simple fact that they have yet to post the min-
utes which have been accepted thus far this semester (from the meetings of Jan. 15, the special SNS/CASA meeting of Jan. 23 (rescheduled from Jan. 22), Jan. 29, and lastly the minutes from AGM of Feb. 12), all of which have been approved at this point. Check it for yourself at http:// dsu.ca/about-us/governance/ documents/council-minutes. Beyond this is the fact that fundamentally speaking, other procedures and practices are not made public. Why are the minutes to each meeting not posted anywhere ahead of time? The DSU council meetings are public events, so this makes no sense. Why is there no simple, easy to consult list of the motions which the DSU has made throughout the year, where I can see where they are standing on issues which have been seen as important enough to bring before the
You’re too apathetic to read this DSU doesn’t care about democracy John Hillman Opinions Contributor Sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but I have it on good authority that you are too ignorant and apathetic to trust with anything. Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t coming from me. It’s just the message I’ve heard from a very powerful bloc within Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) executive and council lately. They’re not criticizing you. Perish the thought. They don’t mind your supposed apathy at all—in fact, they see it as a wonderful opportunity to reshape things for The Greater Good™. You see, the problem with democracy is that it’s messy. Democracy doesn’t care how deeply you believe in a cause. You can spend all year planning a bold new vision for the union, but if you put that vision to a student referendum, there’s always a chance the people won’t vote for it. That’s why this new breed of politician has so enthusiastically embraced the idea of student apathy. Worse still, even when average students do care enough to vote during the elections, their
votes are mired in the tragic ignorance of the common class. To quote one councillor arguing in favour of removing the constitutional requirement to hold a student referendum before leaving our external advocacy groups, “most students don’t care about this issue or don’t know about it...the truth remains that the ARC (Advocacy Review Committee) was set up so that we could become knowledgeable...if there is an AGM, I’m sure that most of it will be made up by ARC members and council members.” If you don’t care and you’re blissfully ignorant, then it would be downright boorish to bother you with petty little constitutionally mandated things like voting on whether to leave our student advocacy groups. The decision may involve hundreds of thousands of dollars, reverse 20 years of DSU history, and fundamentally reshape the direction of one of the union’s core mandates—but it’s probably safer to assume that you just don’t care rather than risk throwing your poor, simple little minds into a spin by putting the issue to a referendum. Just look at the process that led up to council voting to leave the Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations (CASA) and Students Nova Scotia (StudentsNS) on Feb. 26. The current insiders don’t like our traditional form of student advocacy. In the past, individuals like VP academic Aaron Beale and Board of Governors representative John Hutton wrote in the Gazette that student advocacy should shift to a more radical approach focused on “puppets, placards, chants and high spirits” and “scar[ing] politicians into respecting our rights.” During their time in power, they and their allies have pursued this end enthusiastically. Unfortunately, before leaving our advocacy organizations, the DSU constitution used to mandate that we hold a student-wide referendum on the issue. To change the constitution, you need to win a simple majority vote at the union’s annual general meeting. We had one on Feb. 12. It takes 75 people to reach quorum, though ideally you want to encourage as many people as possible to come out given the momentous significance of changing our very constitution. Reading this, you may be wondering why you didn’t get so much as a save-the-date email from the DSU about this immensely
entire student body? Why do the Youtube streams of the meetings have naught but "No description available" to describe them? All of these things should be simple and standard practices of the DSU. It’s the 21st century, not the middle of the 20th, and I shouldn't be forced to talk to the members of the council to know what’s happening on my student union council. This issue does not simply affect the people here on the Dalhousie campuses. As was evident from both CASA’s and especially SNS’s presentation last council meeting, neither of them were very well informed as to what had been going on in regards to the discussion or the review process on the issues of student advocacy here at Dalhousie. Regardless of whether or not we should have them as the advocacy bodies, they should be informed ade-
important meeting. We can only assume they knew you wouldn’t care. If you weren’t so apathetic, the executives would have known you, and you would have been one of the roughly 100 people who received Facebook invites to attend.
“the problem with democracy is that it’s messy” At the meeting, our helpful student leaders explained that the proposed changes were strictly to tidy things up for legal reasons. The constitution was “redundant.” We would have to play the game by CASA’s and SNS’s (implicitly more stringent) rules if we ever wanted to leave, anyway. According to Beale, “it is pretty procedural, it is only to avoid being sued.” The debate was called to question by Beale after only eight minutes and five speakers, so there wasn’t much time to question or independently fact check. The motion passed. As it turned, the only requirement to leave both SNS and CASA was a simple majority vote at
quately. It’s only polite. When the DSU acts in such a manner, it simply serves to hurt the legitimacy of the organization to the many groups it tries to address, and to its own constituents. I love the DSU. It is full of good people, who do hundreds of things each day to try to improve the student experience—bringing in puppies to cheer us up, arguing for the simple funding of our university libraries, providing an orientation week experience which introduces students to the beautiful city of Halifax and the community of Dalhousie. But I am frustrated with this persistent lack of transparency, and all it does to harm the DSU. Valete, William C. Coney 3rd-year classics and history student
council. At the very next council meeting, with little advance warning to councillors, Beale championed a motion to withdraw from CASA and SNS, despite never mentioning this plan once at the AGM. Upset? If you weren’t so apathetic, you would have memorized CASA’s and SNS’s withdrawal policies before coming to the meeting. Outraged now that you’ve had a chance to read about all of this? Feel compelled to stand up for democracy by running in the DSU elections? Sorry. Too late. The nomination period opened on Thursday, Jan. 27 (the day after the meeting) and closed on Monday, March 3, at midnight. I mean, sure, the union did violate their own elections policy by announcing the relevant dates several days later than the absolute minimum required. But hey, you had two and a half whole school days to find out, plan a campaign, collect 25 signatures and submit your papers. We can safely assume that if you weren’t so apathetic, you would have known. Not that you care, but voting for the DSU elections will take place between Wednesday, Mar. 12 and Friday, Mar. 14. Josh Hillman, law student and Punditry blogger, previously ran in two DSU elections.
special feature 11
• Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014
Law school rep disillusioned with DSU after advocacy vote
Active on campus Student government should focus on Dal issues
Campaings focusing on in-house issues succeeded. • • • Photo by Yinou Zhou
Samantha Elmsley Opinions Editor
The process of the DSU's pullout from CASA and SNS made for a mockery of student representation. • • • Photo by Melina Garner
Dear Editor, I am the law student rep on DSU council, as well as the VPexternal of the Law Student's Society (LSS). I’d like to start off by saying that, while I voted against the motion to leave both CASA and SNS, neither myself nor law students at large are particularly opinionated about the merits of leaving or staying with these organizations. I understand that firm positions have been carved out among the DSU community regarding membership in these organizations, and this sort of rigid position-taking has not had nearly the same effect in the law school. I mention this because I think it is important to preface my letter by stating at the outset that I am not writing this to uphold any pre-determined position on the issue. My thoughts are as follows: Irrespective of the merits of membership in either organization, the decision made last Wednesday was made poorly. During the presentations by both Students Nova Scotia
and the executive members of the DSU who opposed membership, council was made to feel as if they were children of a divorce—both parents were slinging accusations back and forth about who was misrepresenting the truth. The effect of this was that council was forced to make its decision on the basis of emotion rather than reason and fact. We were simply not equipped with the tools to make the decision based on merits, and for that reason I consider the outcome of the meeting on Feb. 26 on this issue to be illegitimate. The way in which the DSU has allowed this issue to balloon into an all-consuming vortex of thought, idea and expression has depleted the functional resources of council to do its job. Law students have already felt discouraged by the crass inefficiency of council, and the juvenile approach to resolving issues that are of legitimate student concern; this has not helped. If the core concern of the DSU in leaving SNS and CASA has been to focus more on the
actual needs of students, the very process by which this decision was made has been antithetical to that objective. I can think of no other issue less relevant to the health and wellbeing of students on campus. The partisanship expressed through these discussions have done nothing but make a mockery of student representation. The LSS put forward a motion last Wednesday (Feb. 26) to take control of our elections after the DSU sought to include us into the process last year by taking control of faculty elections. We put forward this motion not only for the practical reasoning of gaining more oversight, but as a statement that law students at Dal feel discouraged by the culture and priorities of the DSU. In short, if the meeting of Feb. 26 was any indication as to what independent advocacy looks like for the DSU, law students will happily take a raincheck. Sincerely, Anthony Rosborough
If you’ve been through the Student Union Building, you’ve heard the news: on Feb. 26, the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) voted to pull their membership from the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and Students Nova Scotia (SNS). This decision will have huge ramifications for DSU activism in the coming years: by leaving CASA and SNS, we freed up around $140,000 to do our own lobby work. Conversely, CASA and (especially) SNS are likely looking at some serious restructuring, as Dalhousie’s membership packed a huge financial punch. But I don’t care about them so much—let’s focus on the DSU. This pullout was a brilliant decision because a) Dal was paying thousands for CASA and SNS to fight problems we don’t care about and b) most importantly, Dal students have demonstrated that our energy is better spent on in-house issues. As Uytae Lee pointed out in a Gazette article published before the vote, Dal’s concerns haven’t been represented by either of these bodies lately. An (enormous) report on Dal’s relationship with CASA and SNS revealed that overall, Dal just isn’t seeing eye-to-eye on either the issues they should be addressing, or how they should be addressing them. It seems like we (the students) were paying thousands of dollars for organizations to fight campaigns we don’t identify with. We are much more effective when moving on issues Dal students actually care about. Selected at random, I doubt most
Dal students would have a clue what you’re talking about when asked to describe their stance on CASA or SNS. But they sure as hell signed those DSU petitions when the library came under fire. And when asked, eight opinions writers came up with eight very different issues for our president to address during his tenancy. Dal students are engaged, and they do care—just not about what CASA or SNS are up to. Working on in-house issues— like the fact that our library budget has been diminishing for years, or that the food on campus sucks for those with restricted diets— will get results because students are already engaged in these areas. Rather than fighting a losing battle to educate students on lobbying groups no one knows about, the DSU should let existing student interests guide their approach to activism. Pulling out of CASA and SNS was an important first step. In the upcoming DSU elections campaign, I want to see candidates engage with on-campus issues. I want to know what they’re going to do about the library budget. I want to know they’ve spoken to professors who know what’s up with the Enrolment Related Budget Adjustment policy. I want them to promise to move forward with the proposed committee for transgender issues. More than ever, I want to be sure that candidates are ready to work on in-house problems that students on this campus actually give a shit about. By dropping CASA and SNS, the DSU has an opportunity to take on a central role in campus lobbying and activism. I want to see them rise to the challenge.
gazette opinions welcomes any opinion backed up with facts, but we don’t publish rants. Email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute Sam Elmsley Opinions Editor
Should students work unpaid internships? NO WAY Josh Fraser Staff Contributor
I’m a journalist, by some small definition. To broaden this definition, I’m taking classes at King’s, with the goal of obtaining an honours degree in journalism. Along this path, I will eventually be seeking internship with news media companies. My preliminary inquiries into the matter yielded two vats of internships: paid and unpaid. But as much value as I am willing to give immersion-learning through internship, it would have to be a juicy opportunity to make me work without pay—academic credits or not. ‘Unpaid’ specifically indicates money, of course, and experience is a different kind of currency that we can often gather for our use. But this value that interns gain through experience is kind of like points at the grocery store: each unit is ultimately worth fractions of a cent, you can’t use them at other stores, and you have a vague suspicion that your benefactor is screwing with you. Kind of bleak, but given that ‘intern’ can carry an unfortunate connotation of ignorance and lackey status, they can be milked for hard work by dangling the promise of social acceptance at the end. Being the only type of person in the workplace who is not paid in real currency for their hard work is not easy. Since the intern is seen as gaining ‘valuable experience’ as a form of payment for their services, it automatically presumes a hierarchy that puts a lower value on any contributions the intern makes. Good ideas come from everywhere, and since there are plenty of ‘inexperienced’ people who are on the cutting edge of their own fields of interest, intern input could be useful. Here again, intern culture rears its ugly head; a pool of new ideas for free, hierarchically designed to benefit
‘gatekeepers’ in companies who ‘discover’ the ideas. Of course, I am picking away at all the worst parts of internship, spawning monsters where indeed there may be none. Internship is an attempt at closing the gap between basic theoretical skills and practical experience, and it is difficult to come up with alternatives. Given bleak job markets, I’m a little confused as to what internship might hope to achieve as a general idea, though I’m sure some fields are in high demand—as TV ads tell me. Still, it is entirely possible to have a positive unpaid internship experience, and if it truly feels worthwhile, then it must be. What I want to fight is the notion that unpaid internship is an acceptable practice in every case, especially when citing ‘bad economic conditions.’ In my opinion, you pay people for the work they do for you. Part-pay, housing paid, training period, all are decent compromises if deliberated openly and mutually. In the end, the donation of one’s labour must have the potential for a positive, tangible result. In cases where skilled, unpaid labour is required as part of an alreadyexpensive degree programme, unpaid internship may fit some definition of exploitation. At its worst, unpaid internship is the exploitation of hopeful aspirations and willing attitudes for cheap labour and ideas. At its best, unpaid internship is a calculated risk, a mutual investment of resources to gain valuable experience. In a market already flooded by unemployed, educated people my age, my time is either worth something or it isn’t. Potential careers abound, but a fulfilling one is in the development of craft that begins with cultivating the value of your skill—and you’re worth every cent.
Would you work an unpaid internship? • • • Photo by Mel Hattie
Absolutely! Shelby Rutledge Staff Contributor
Hello March, hello summer job hunts! It’s that time of year again—students are starting to look for something to do this summer, whether in Halifax or somewhere else. Summer employment can be difficult to come across, especially when almost everyone is looking for a job. What happens if you can’t find one? Will you try for an unpaid job, like an internship? These days, unpaid internships are becoming a harsh reality for many students. However, they can actually put you ahead of the game. For me, internships will be a fact of life in my pursuit of a career in journalism. I won’t be doing an internship this summer—I’m not there yet,
and I already have a few jobs lined up in Halifax. But as my education progresses, I’ll need to build up my experience through internships—paid or unpaid. Without an internship, I won’t have the experience necessary to work for any media company. No newspaper is going to hire a freshly graduated student with no experience, even if I do graduate with a bachelor or a master’s degree in journalism. With an unpaid internship, I’ll be able to learn how the newspaper and magazine industry works. I’ll learn what it’s like and what it means to be a journalist on a daily basis. I know I won’t be getting paid, but take a look at some of the benefits: I’ll receive lots of experience, learn what I’m getting into, figure out if I’m going in the right direction, and it’ll look great on my resume. Unpaid internships also make you look passionate, loyal and interested in the field you’re look-
ing to get into. Your employer will know you worked extremely hard for your job, and that you’re in it for good. I once completed an unpaid internship, and at the end received the job I was hoping for. My employer realized that I had been working extremely hard, and I wasn’t going to give up any time soon. Internships will also put you a few steps closer to getting your dream job. Employers are looking for young adults who already have the right skills for the profession. They really don’t want to be wasting their time and money teaching you how to do your job, so if you already know what to do, it’s a bonus. At the end of the day, employers are looking for experience. If that means completing an unpaid internship, so be it. After all, experience is experience. Don’t be scared of getting your hands dirty—today’s employers aren’t looking for a clean slate.
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a welcoming community that makes a difference Follow @St_Davids_Hfx | Visit saintdavids.ca
• Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014
Inspiring women Why Women’s Day should be remembered Alex Ross Opinions Contributor This March 8, the theme of International Women’s Day is “Inspiring Change,” and women are inspiring change around the world. Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, an advocate for women’s rights to education in Pakistan, was targeted and shot (although not fatally) by the Taliban in October 2012. She sought necessary change in views on women’s rights and education, inspiring a nation in the process. Wendy Davis, a Texas state senator, stood for 13 hours to filibuster a bill which, if passed, would have shut down more than three quarters of women’s health clinics in Texas. Davis inspired women in Texas and throughout North America to fight back against leaders who wish to revoke women’s rights. But inspiring women aren’t only
working in the political sphere. Even Beyoncé is an incredible advocate for gender equality—she shows women around the world that you can be independent, successful and a feminist while still enjoying more “traditional” roles, such as being a loving wife and mother. There are countless inspiring women here at Dalhousie, as well. They are your professors, your teaching assistants. They are on your rugby team and in your fashion society. They are your lab partners and your friends. With so many women who have influenced me in my two years at Dalhousie, it’s hard to choose just one to highlight. However, one woman who stands out amongst my professors is Mindy McCarville. A senior instructor and cell biology lab instructor, McCarville exhibits passion for her job on a daily basis. McCarville’s enthusiasm for cell
biology, both in the lecture hall and in the lab, has inspired me to be more enthusiastic in my own studies. While writing this piece, I asked Mindy to tell me about any women in her life who had inspired her along the way. I was happy to find that Mindy could easily list many strong women who have greatly influenced her. In her email, McCarville spoke of her mother, Lynda, and her sisters Kerry and Brittany, whose compassion, kindness, humour and positivity greatly influence everything she does. Mindy also included some of her female faculty members such as Mount Allison’s Dr. Vett Lloyd, who influenced Mindy’s lecturing style as well as fellow Dal professor Beth Retallack, the inspiration behind the introduction of many new ideas into teaching labs. Behind every inspiring woman, there are many others who have inspired her.
International Women’s Day is incredibly important because it offers an opportunity for us to take time out of our busy schedules and appreciate the women who inspire us every day. On March 8, think of the women in your family— your grandmother, mother, sisters and close friends—and how they’ve influenced you over the years. Think about the generations of women before us who fought for our place in the work force, as well as for the right to vote. Where would we be without them? Think about this, and think about how much work we still have left to do. While great strides have been made towards gender equality, true equality is not
yet a reality. There are still women all over the world suffering at the hands of domestic violence, women who are still being sexually objectified by the media (and each other). Wage gaps still exist between men and women working the same jobs. This March 8, take time to appreciate the women around you. Reflect upon the sacrifices that have been made before us, and recognize that there is still much to be done to achieve true gender equality. Be inspired to change the way you look at each other, and the way you look at yourselves.
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arts & culture
arts covers cultural happenings in Halifax. Email Mat and Zoe at email@example.com to contribute. Mat Wilush Arts Editor
Final countdown Dal’s Got Talent ain’t your elementary school talent show
Six formidable musical opponents will face off during the final performance of the annual Dal’s Got Talent competition Friday, Mar. 14 at the Grawood. We got to know five of these noble bards as they prepare for battle to win $1,000. Emma Skagen, Mat Wilush and Rosalie Fralick • • • Photos by Kit Moran Editor's note: Emily Ambrose, the sixth competing artist, did not reply to our interview request.
The Third Wheel (Sarah, Brody and Tim) When three is the perfect number
Ellie Goldney An IDS & SoSA student taking on the music world Ellie Goldney is a talented singer-songwriter and a fourth-year international development and social anthropology student at Dal. She began taking guitar lessons in the eighth grade, and brought singing and songwriting into the equation soon after that. Goldney has a powerful, emotion-filled voice, which I would quickly compare to Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine—that being no small compliment. Goldney plans on travelling after finishing her degree this year. When asked via email about her favorite artists, she was quick to mention Laura Marling, winner in the Best British Female category at the 2011 Brit awards, and three
time nominee in the same category. “For the sake of space,” she adds, “any folk band to come out of England in the recent past. These were what I was listening to when I started writing my own stuff.” If she wins Dal’s Got Talent, she says, “in an ideal world,” where the competition would help her to improve her musical career, she would use the money to take piano lessons or record some tracks. Her “lamer, more realistic answer,” however, is that the money will go toward her student loans. Check out Ellie Goldney’s Dal’s Got Talent performance on Youtube. I guarantee she’ll pull on your heartstrings.—ES
The aptly-named folksy group The Third Wheel is made up of fiancés Sarah MacKelvie (ukulele/ guitar/vocals) and Brody McGee (guitar/vocals), along with their third wheel, Tim Disher (banjo/ fiddle/vocals). The band is the only group act performing in this year’s competition. I sat down with Sarah and Brody—who seem heartwarmingly crazy about each other—for an interview. Sarah, who is currently studying planning at Dal, has been playing guitar for about nine years and recently took up the ukulele. She most admires Said the Whale and Stars, but leaves the music writing to the boys.
Brody is studying nursing, which is how he met Tim. Both have only been playing their chosen instruments for a few years, with Tim having started playing the fiddle a few months ago. Their varying musical influences explain the group’s unique mix of sounds: Brody is a huge fan of singer-songwriter Matt Pond, while Tim prefers ‘50s folk and old gospel tunes to modern music. The group is happy to have had the opportunity to practice, play shows and increase their repertoire for Dal’s Got Talent. They hope to play at this year’s Paddlefest—a music festival in Brody’s hometown of St. Andrews, New Brunswick—and perhaps some other summer music festivals.—ES
Amber Oosthuyzen Not a crease in the musical genes Amber Oosthuyzen comes from a musical family. Her biggest musical inspiration is her mum, who constantly surrounded her and her siblings with music throughout their childhood. Amber developed a passion for music when she was 10, while her parents were away on a road trip and her uncle taught her how to play
her very first chord on the guitar. That guitar was a family friend’s old Fender San Miguel and it provided her first opportunity to put the words that she had always written to beautiful music. In her spare time, Amber is an avid Tetris player.—RF
• Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014
Meghan Naugle Riding on a lifetime of performing
Ryan Hartigan Taking a scientific approach to rap Ryan Hartigan doesn’t do dirty gutter rap; his verses are calculated and flow to the pattern of his life. Through his second song at the Dal’s Got Talent semifinal, he takes a seat and works his way through a Rubix cube, rattling along a series of endless syllables. He wants to learn to do this all while blindfolded. “I’ve always considered progression of any kind to be more like a life’s progression,” the fifth-year neuroscience student says. “The more intelligent
Meghan Naugle is in her second year of studying music at Dal. She completed her first year pursuing a jazz degree at Saint Francis Xavier University before transferring to Dalhousie, where she now studies voice. She gutsily decided to participate in Dal’s Got Talent on the day of, when she saw a sign on campus during her church group meeting. Naugle grew up in Dartmouth and has been playing the fiddle and performing since she was small— she even won the Youngest Fiddle prize at the Maritime Fiddle festival. She’s been singing for as long as she can remember, but became serious about it in high school. She dreams of teaching music and French, and of someday having a family. If she wins the competition, Naugle plans to put the money toward travel expenses to the Missouri Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ, where she can grow spiritually with fellow campus church groups from all over North America. Naugle said she would see the monetary aid as “God answering a prayer.” She also mentioned that she has only been on a plane once in her life, making the trip extra exciting.—ES
I become, the more intelligent my music will become.” Hartigan has been rapping since the age of 14, having first found an interest in the work of Tupac. “Rap,” he says, “allows for you to say more in a short period of time. It’s more about the lyrical content of the songs, rather than the music.” After graduating this year, Hartigan is planning to pursue his master’s in Scotland, and will be studying the neurological phenomenon of
synesthesia—the involuntary blending of sensory expressions. His life’s passion is to teach, and he brings this approach to his musical styling. “I consider myself first and foremost a scientist. I want to teach people and I use music as a conduit. I’m never going to give up on music. There’s no plan A or B; some people say that music was always their backup plan, but I see them as very intertwined.”—MW
sports covers athletic events and topics relevant to Dalhousie. Email Benjamin and Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute Benjamin Blum Sports Editor
OPINION: DSU execs The TickeR: VolleyBall dropped the ball Some Lack of promotion results in absence of ‘Tiger pride’ Rebecca Haworth Sports Contributor It’s that time of year again: candidates running in this year’s Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) elections will flock to classrooms and social media in an attempt to convince students they have what it takes to be the next executive member of the DSU. I want to talk about one of the four elected executive members who have a tremendous impact on the student body, the vice president of student life (VPSL), Danny Shanahan. According to the DSU elections website, the student who holds this position has four responsibilities: organize student spirit activities, promote varsity athletics, chair event committees and oversee Shinerama. If you spend your days on the same campus I do, there’s no doubt you’ve noticed the lack of 'Tiger pride' here at Dal. I would argue that this is a direct result of the current and former VPSL consistently neglecting their responsibility to promote varsity athletics. Take a quick look at the current VPSL’s 2013 campaign website and you will notice that athletics is one of his main platform items— so it seems he’s off to a good start. He even wanted to focus on creating an engaging athletics culture by improving communication. If that doesn’t make you want to vote for him, the last line of his platform about promoting the cheap beer to entice student to attend games sure will. Most of you can see where this is going, and can probably guess what the VPSL did to promote varsity athletics after being elected—nothing. A few months into the fall
consolation at nationals for Dal
semester, Shanahan hired an athletics commissionaire. This was a step in the right direction, but was done without any real interest in athletics, and it seemed to be at the his priority list. To polish off the semester, the
“the VPSL got the date wrong and missed the game” DSU was going to go all out and promote the last men’s basketball game of the season. This 'plan' went up in smoke as the VPSL got the date wrong and missed the game. Although this year’s VPSL did an abysmal job of promoting varsity athletics—one quarter of the job he’s paid over $30,000 to do— he’s not the only one to blame. The DSU seems to view athletics as a cost incurred by students, rather than something with the power to unite students by building the sense of community and 'Tigers pride' we currently lack. I’m excited to see how the new VPSL and DSU members approach athletics in the upcoming election, and hope that promoting athletics won’t sit at the bottom of their priority list once the elections are over. Dal's athletes are deserving of wider recognition among the student body, and it is incumbent on the DSU to help facilitate this. Rebecca Haworth is co-president of the Dalhousie Varsity Council.
Benjamin Blum Sports Editor
Alex Dempsey (4) lunges for the dig in CIS championship play. • • • Photo by David Moll via Calgary (CIS)
It was a trying weekend for the AUS champs as the fourthseeded Tigers encountered a familiar foe in the quarter-final: interlock rival and defending national champion Laval. The No. 5 Rouge et Or proved superior in the match, dispatching Dal in straight sets. The Tigers' time at the tournament did not end there, as they were still in contention in the consolation bracket. With a chance at some redemption on the line, the Tigers squared off against Montreal, trading sets to force a fifth and final game to 15. Buoyed by 48 assists from second CIS all-star team setter Jonathan Macdonald, Dal defeated Les Carabins and earned a spot in the consolation final to determine fifth-place in the tournament. However, the team fell to Trinity Western 3-1, ending their 2013-14 campaign on a bittersweet note.
Maggie Li (5) delivers the ball into Trinity Western territory at the CIS national championships. . • • • Photo by Rob Weitzel via SportsShooter.ca
Cinderella run strikes midnight for Tigers Regina played host to the women's volleyball nationals, and the weekend began with a first-round upset. The sixth-seeded Tigers squared off against third-ranked Trinity Western and defeated the reigning bronze medallists 3-1 behind double-digit kills from
Desiree Nouwen (15), Maggie Li (10) and Katherine Ryan (10). This win marked the first time an AUS team has reached the CIS semifinal since 1984 and gave Dal a chance to bring home their first national championship since 1982. However, the eventual champion Uni-
versity of Manitoba shot down these aspirations in straight sets. With a chance to secure a bronze medal, the Tigers took the first set off Laval, but lost the next three in a row. The Tigers return home finishing fourth in the tournament.
• Mar. 7 - Mar. 13, 2014
er The Watr C o o le returns
What can the next DSU vice-president student life do to help the Tigers?
With Sochi 2014 in the rearview mirror, what kind of funding should the federal government provide Canada’s athletes?
The problem with Dal’s sports teams doesn’t lie with the players—the problem is at the top. Many teams are struggling, and Dal Athletics needs strong leadership to turn things around. With the hiring of a new athletics director now imminent, it is time for Dal to straighten its priorities and right the sinking ship of the department.
The next VPSL can help the Tigers through advertisement, promotion and a concerted effort to build relationships between Dal Athletics and Residence Council, along with Dal Student Life.
If Canada wants to continue seeing performances at a world-class level like we saw in Sochi, then they will have to continue funding amateur athletics. While Canada often excels at the Winter Olympics, many of our top-performing winter athletes come from summer sports (a prime example can be found in the crossover of track and field athletes to bobsled). Therefore, an investment in both summer and winter sports is required.
Graeme Benjamin Staff Contributor
It's hard to answer this question, as I think I've only attended one period of Dal hockey “action” all year. Why is that, you ask? Because the games aren't exciting to watch. I'd rather pay $10 and watch Drouin break the ankles of a rookie defenseman then watch a Dal team get creamed by St. FX again. It's the hockey fan in me, what can I say?
I'll be completely honest, I think the viewership of Dal's sporting events was pretty darn good this year, given the circumstances. Obviously there won't be many people at the hockey games since they're a whole 15-minute walk from campus (tragic, I know), but even though men's basketball had a season to forget, fans were still showing up. I think it's all about getting students at Dal excited about the players, coaches and stories within the AUS, making them actually want to go to the games.
These Olympics, specifically, should act as a benchmark for the importance of hockey, but more specifically women's hockey within Canada. There were several discussions brought forth on whether or not women's hockey would receive funding at the federal level in future Olympics, but after watching the excitement it created across the nation, I believe it would be a great loss for the country if they didn’t.
Hamzeh Hadad Staff Contributor
Dalhousie’s hockey programs need better scouting, as well as more scholarships awarded to up-and-coming hockey stars teams can be built around. We also need more fans to come to hockey games. From what I’ve seen, the teams respond well to crowds—even with only a handful of people making noise. Imagine if the whole rink was full!
The DSU’s new executive team needs to increase its promotion of Dalhousie varsity sports next year, and do so in more efficient ways—educate students on their sports teams and show they represent the students. Student attendance was high in publicized games, such as the football team’s homecoming or the men’s volleyball AUS championships. We need more of that.
Olympic medals don’t come cheap. If we expect our athletes to bring home gold, we need to fund them. We have become a dominant force in the Winter Olympics and a rising one in the Summer Games—a trend that needs to continue.
I think that the next person who offers me a bucket of cola is goin’ tae get a right dressing down. Honestly, I’ll never understand the way the world is going. Yer allowed to serve enough sugary fluid to fill a loch and drown a wee little whale. But if you misunderstand the term “strip mall” one time, ye spend the night in jail.
Two things. One, appearing before the court to explain Scruffy’s public indecency was jus’ a wee misunderstanding. Two, reduce drink sizes down a wee dram to something more reasonable except, of course, fer Scotch. I want to make people healthier, not subject them to torture! I think that Rob Ford feller had it right: “Let them eat cake.” Oh wait, that wasn’t him. Still, he's a good lad, great hugger and a sensual lover.
Though the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) varsity season has nearly come to a close, we here at the Gazette believe it’s never too early to start thinking about next year. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a panel of experts—along with one angry Scotsman—to discuss some of the most pressing issues in amateur athletics.
Kit Moran Varsity alumnus
Scruffy MacMinster Aggressive Cola Enthusiast
Why are both Dalhousie hockey teams struggling, and what can be done about it?
They’re probably shocked and appalled at the soft drink sizes nowadays! Do you know how big those bloody things are? I could wear one as a hat. I sometimes use the large cups as buckets to carry Scotch from the well up into my house.
By Zoe Doucette and Chris Parent
How should the DSU spend an extra $140k?
“A school spirit building” Nick Perron 3rd-year acting
“A waterslide” Tyson Boyd 1st-year theatre
Events @ DAL
“Books” Jessica Morrison 1st-year undecided
“More entertainment, foosball, paintball” Mohsen Asidi 1st-year engineering
Friday, Mar. 7 Connecting Cultures—Digital Cultures—A Roundtable, 4-6 p.m. in McCain Building, Ondaatje Auditorium
Tuesday, Mar. 11 ESL Workshop: Oral Communication for the Workplace, 4-6 p.m. in Mona Campbell Building
Architecture Lecture by Robert McCarter, 7-8:30 p.m. at Medjuck Architecture Building, 5410 Spring Garden Road.
Wednesday, Mar. 12 Student Consultation: Budget, tuition and fees (with webcast), 6:30-7:30 p.m. in SUB Room 303
Saturday, Mar. 8 Film Screening and Director Q&A: The Ghosts in Our Machine with Liz Marshall, 7-10 p.m. in McCain Building, Scotiabank Auditorium Monday, Mar. 10 Senate Meeting, 4-6 p.m. in Macdonald Building, University Hall
“More study spaces” Ali Seglins 2nd- year arts
“Invest and put profits into programs for students in need” Cigdem Ketene Commerce alumni
for more listings, visit dalgazette.com Last day of DSU voting. DSU elections results party, 6:30 p.m. in Grawood Dal's Got Talent - Final Performance, 8 p.m. in Grawood AAUEC Conference Speaker: Lynn Coady, 8 p.m. in McCain Building, Scotiabank Auditorium
DSU voting opens Thursday, Mar. 13 DSU voting continues Friday, Mar. 14 The Austin and Hempel lectures: “Revising Logic”, 3:30 p.m. in McCain Room 1130
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • submit listings to email@example.com
comics covers the funny ha-ha and the funny peculiar. Email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org Emily Davidson Art Director
Old Heart by Amber Solberg
Adventures in Servitude by Caitlin McGuire
Jocular Impulse by Aniruddha Waje
Wish You Were Here by Emily Davidson
March 7, 2014
To be or not to be? (A member, that is!)
Industrial M.Eng Candidate
The Dalhousie Student Union advocacy debate
There has been discussion over the last year at the DSU on whether or not the union should remain a member of a national advocacy organization – namely, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). Last spring, the DSU Council voted to become an associate member rather than a full member of CASA. The idea was that, by becoming an associate member, we would free up some funds – approximately $22,000 – for “independent” advocacy efforts by the DSU, as well as take a year to evaluate our options. In addition, an Advocacy Review Committee was created. This committee was meant to discuss the options for the DSU, as well as evaluate our risks and rewards to leaving CASA and striking out with our own independent advocacy on a national level. This Review Committee did not end up meeting as created; the committee consisted of only 4 people in the end, 3 of which are paid by the DSU. At some point during the fall, someone floated the idea of leaving Students Nova Scotia (SNS). This had not previously been mentioned, and it was brought up in an off-hand sort
of way at a Council meeting. Somehow, that has evolved into a full-fledged push to leave both CASA and SNS, freeing up over $137,000 ($44,000 from CASA membership dues, and $93,000 from SNS) for the DSU to spend on independent advocacy. What happened to the $22,000 we saved last year, you ask? Nearly half ($10,000) has been used to pay a coordinator and honorariums to students working at the DSU. Another $8,000 went to a combination of advertising, printing and materials – odd, in a digital age, when often the best way to garner student attention is online. Of the last $4000, $1500 went to events and the last $2500 went to advocacy review – mostly in the form of food for Town Hall meetings with students. None of these Town Halls were on Sexton Campus. Now, I’m all for getting the most out of your/my/our DSU money. However, the DSU’s process in this regard has failed its students. There has been exactly one formal report from the Advocacy Review Committee – and it discussed CASA, its history, and the services it offers.There has been no formal report
emailed to DSU councillors (or students at large, for that matter) documenting in an unbiased fashion what would happen if we left CASA, SNS, or both. There has been no firm proposal for what exactly we would do with all that money we would save. Are we just going to spend $60,000 on a coordinator to do exactly the same thing CASA and SNS are currently doing (with a lot more experience and resources than the DSU)? Are we going to spend another third of our “independent advocacy” budget on advertising, printing, and materials? I personally feel we can find much better ways to spend $137,000 – if indeed, it is logical to drop out of CASA or SNS at all. On Wednesday February 26, 2014, SNS presented their side of why the DSU should not leave their organization. At the same meeting, DSU Council voted whether to leave CASA by 17 to 15, and to leave SNS by 16 to 15. Numerous councillors abstained, as they were not able to consult with their constituents due to the rushed vote. I, as Sexton Campus Director, put forward a motion to create a formal Advocacy Planning
Committee – one with firm deadlines, clear deliverables, and direct accountability. Luckily this committee passed; unfortunately, the $137,000 has still been freed up with zero direction and no accountability. As students, you have the opportunity to say whether you want the $93,000 currently earmarked to SNS to go to the DSU instead. There is a referendum question running in the election asking you to approve using the SNS levy of $3 per student for “independent advocacy”. If you want to send a clear message that you do not want to leave SNS, or even that you just don’t want the DSU spending your money without a plan, consider voting “No” on this question. Personally, I believe we need to first determine what our Dalhousie students want to see from their student union with regards to advocacy, before we start dropping out of organizations and spending tens of thousands of dollars without much direction. Stay tuned for an update next week on the DSU’s plans moving forward! If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
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